When Valentine’s Day rolls around every year – right after dealing with the demands of Christmas & the New Year – it can throw a gal off guard. As a grown woman, of course you recognize the holiday as a shameless capitalization of  love. You know that one day does not make or break a relationship (or lack of one). But, so what!

If you ARE in a relationship you want acknowledgement from your significant other and if you’re not, well, whoever is in your life (casual dater, co-worker, best friend, sibling, offspring) better come up off of a card or somethingBecause after being bombarded with commercials and songs and various other advertisements (which began airing right after the aforementioned holidays) you can’t help but acknowledge the day for the love-fest that it is.

And despite your Notep friends and family members reminding you of its pagan origins, you’re not trying to hear any of that. You’re trying to get in on the action. But depending on where you are –in your head, your heart, your life, your love life – Valentine’s Day can be a drag, a nuisance, painful, a bore. You can survive it, though.

Here Are & Tips To Help You Get Through Valentines With Your Heart (and Sanity) Intact:

Image result for single on valentines woman

1.Keep Expectations in Check. This is the only way you will not be 100{62937e24b4261d41c5187cd264b3713a1edf5bc8a6084238a41e684420661999} disappointed. You might actually be pleasantly surprised. Maybe you won’t get a new diamond necklace (or ring!) or a brand new Lexus but you just might get a massage Groupon. Or a Box of drugstore chocolates. Don’t complain. So what if you are on a diet? Take what you can get as long as it’s something you (or one of your friends) can use. Not everybody’s going to get the perfect gift. So grow up. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it is what it is.

2. If You’re Alone, be Alone. You know you better than anyone else. And if this is one of those years that you are not feeling the love and the sight of couples kissing with bubbles coming out of their butts, just rubbing their love in your lonely face, will be like salt on your wounded soul, go on and Stay the heck home. It’s ok. Put on Netflix (or Amazon or Hulu) or something where you can avoid all commercials. Because you already know they are going to be shoving all that love stuff down your throat. In an ultimate act of self-love and self-preservation stay you lonely self home. You may not have a Valentine but you’ve got you. And you love a hot bubble bath, a great glass of wine, whatever! Just do you boo! Surround yourself with the things you love (and hate to share). Like lobster. Or tequila. Or your favorite ice cream. Sometimes NOT sharing IS caring (for you!!)

3. Spread Love, It’s the Brooklyn Way. No matter where you are in the world (or in your relationship status) there is AWLYS someone in a worse situation. Look around you. In NY, where I’m from, I never have to look that far. The subways and streets are bombarded with homeless people who would love a cup of coffee or a sandwich (or a house or a job or some teeth). I know you can’t solve everyone’s problems, but I’ve found that a kind gesture ends up making me feel better. It might just work for you, too. How about sending someone else a card. Or flowers? Or Candy? Someone who is suffering a real loss of a loved one or family member. Or, instead of spending thirty bucks on a gift for someone who might not appreciate it, spend it on something someone could really use. The Red Cross and other organizations are always accepting donations. People still have no electricity in Puerto Rico, you know? So shift focus off of your self and onto the less fortunate.

4. Button Your Bitter Lips. You already know that people will be coming into work and onto your feed with flowers and jewelry and gifts and trips before during and after Valentine’s Day. So if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. As in, keep your negative outlook on love to yourself. It’s not a good look (or sound). Years ago this guy I was seeing had the most beautiful bouquet of orchids delivered to my job. They were gorgeous! Their unique floral scent filled my office. And soon so did curious co-workers. Bishes were hating hard but most managed to have something nice to say and go away.

Photo: Odyssey

But one of my coworkers – and there is always one – came in, looked at the flowers, folder her arms across her chest, stared at me for a few seconds and actually, finally said: “I hate you”. With venom in her voice and errythang! I was like, um, EW!! She was a gorgeous gal and I always wondered why she was never actively dating, was always alone. After she opened her mouth I knew why. It was not cute. It was actually, seriously ugly. She coulda kept that to herself. I suggest you do the same.

5. Join Forces. Misery loves company so gather your miserable heartbroken homies and hit the town! It’s a great night to meet other single people. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) If someone is out alone with no better half in sight, well that’s half the battle. Plus, there will be drink specials galore. ($5 Firebird shots, anyone?) Be smart. Stay safe. Have fun. And don’t fall in love.

6. Commit to the Corny. That’s right. If you are in love or like or lust (it happens) tell the world. Send corny texts, cards, and/or balloons to you boo. Smile at everyone you see that day: The Love Bug has bitten you. And it can be contagious. And if it’s not , people will just have to deal with it. Because life is short and love can be fleeting so if you got it flaunt it! Wear red to work with a rose in your hair. Yeah! Can’t forget someone? Oh, Hon you don’t have to . Miss your ex? Send ‘em a text. Why not? Your love is free even if therapy isn’t.

And, Last but not least…

Photo: Vianney Le Caer/REX/Shutterstock (9222969c)
Sabrina Dhowre and Idris Elba
Ferrari: Under the Skin Exhibition, London, UK – 14 Nov 2017

7. Let Idris Elba Live!  Y’all say you love the brother- just cant get enough of his acting or his accent- but are mad mofo’s now that he’s about to be married. I see y’all, all over Facebook with broken heart and tear emoji’s. So what if he said he would NEVER get married again. So did George Clooney! So let’s let that be our love lesson: Anything goes in the game of love and rules are made to be broken, rewritten, or ripped up all together. Just like this list.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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Kerika Fields Nalty
Author +Photographer+ Wife+Mother+Brooklynite+World Citizen=Wildflower who takes laughter seriously. It is not a joke.